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Location: Bi-coastal, United States

Working in the trenches of the fashion industry for years.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

G. L'amour

I used my overstock of fancy embroidered and embellished metallic mesh from Kashi at Metro Fabrics to make some pieces for my dear friend Cynthia to sell at her annual Global Caravan pre-Christmas gallery sale in downtown Honolulu. Each piece had to be handcut around the idiosyncrasies of the fabric. Some are one of a kind, and others I managed to cut 2 or 3 pieces. It was more a labor of love than a commercial enterprise. I did want to recoup my investment in the fabric though, or it was slated to be inherited by whoever comes into my textile estate.

This piece was hacked out of 3 yards of silver mesh that had been embroidered with medallions sprinkled with heatset rhinestones and embellished with a serpentine pattern of silver soutache cord. (Could we add anything more to this fabric??) The fabric had a double border with a scallop edge on both sides, so I had to work to make a style that would cut into the fabric the least amount possible.

There are a few patterns out there for this type of shawl jacket - KwikSew has a rudimentary one; Vogue has a much more sophisticated version with some shirring at the neck. I felt that neck shirring was what was going to make this piece work, so I incorporated it into the final design.

There is very little seamwork on this - shoulder, armhole, sleeve, and neck. I used a silver organza to finish the seams and made an inside neckband for a more elegant finish. Not to mention that the metallic mesh is kind of rough, and it needed at great couture finish.

Wouldn't you know that an embroidered medallion fell just at the shoulder seam and I had to cut around it and applique it over the shoulder seam? It would have been a shame to cut in the middle of it. Not to mention that its very heavy and tough to sew through. Fortunately I had studied my Susan Khalje "Bridal Couture" book recently and had no problem sewing around the motif with tiny hand stitches.

The hem is slightly lettuced with a 'pearl' edge overlock stitch. Most of the bottom edge is the scallop border, but the ends of the front panel needed a finish. I don't have the right machine, so had to go beg someone with an industrial Merrow machine to do it for me.

As the old Hawaiian auntie said "Don't give it away, honey". Here's hoping someone can appreciate this piece enough to buy it so I can recoup the fabric cost.


Blogger Phyllis said...

Wow - all that and an applique seam too! Wonder, just wonderful Georgene.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Mary Beth said...

How gorgeous! L'amour indeed

5:47 PM  
Blogger Gigi said...

OMG, that is stunning!

7:58 AM  
Blogger Gorgeous Things said...

Gasp! That is amazing....

9:46 AM  
Blogger Summerset said...

Stunning. Lovely color, too.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Lisette said...


10:57 AM  
Blogger Els said...

I hope that a customer can appreciate your gorgeous made garment. It is Fabulous.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Ms. Place said...

That is the most beautiful fabric I have seen in a long time. Breathtaking.

5:52 PM  

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